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Panasonic LX15 versus Sony RX100 IV

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX15 (called Panasonic LX10 in some regions) and the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 IV are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in September 2016 and June 2015. Both the LX15 and the RX100 IV are fixed lens compact cameras that are equipped with an one-inch sensor. Both cameras offer a resolution of 20 megapixel. Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their size, their sensors, their features, and their reception by expert reviewers.

Body comparison: Panasonic LX15 vs Sony RX100 IV

An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Panasonic LX15 and the Sony RX100 IV is provided in the side-by-side display below. Three consecutive perspectives from the front, the top, and the back are presented. All size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter. You can also use the toggle button to switch to a percentage comparison if you prefer that the measures are being expressed in relative terms (in this case, the camera on the left – the LX15 – represents the basis or 100 percent across all the size and weight measures).

Snapsort Panasonic LX15 vs Sony RX100 IV
Compare LX15 versus RX100 IV top
Compare LX15 and RX100 IV rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Sony RX100 IV is notably smaller (7 percent) than the Panasonic LX15. Moreover, the RX100 IV is slightly lighter (4 percent) than the LX15. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the LX15 nor the RX100 IV are weather-sealed.

Concerning battery life, the LX15 gets 260 shots out of its DMW-BLH7 battery, while the RX100 IV can take 280 images on a single charge of its NP-BX1 power pack.

The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the two cameras alongside a broader set of comparators. If you want to switch the focus of the display and review another camera pair, just select a new right or left comparator from among the camera models in the table. Alternatively, you can also move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible camera comparisons there.

Camera Body Specifications
  Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
(CIPA)
Weather
Sealing
(yes/no)
Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Panasonic LX15» 106 mm 60 mm 42 mm 310 g 260 n Sep 2016 699 i i
Sony RX100 IV« 102 mm 58 mm 41 mm 298 g 280 n Jun 2015 999- i
Canon G7 X Mark II« » 106 mm 61 mm 42 mm 319 g 265 n Feb 2016 699 i i
Canon M3« » 111 mm 68 mm 44 mm 366 g 250 n Feb 2015 679- i
Canon G5 X« » 112 mm 76 mm 44 mm 353 g 210 n Oct 2015 799 i i
Canon G7 X« » 103 mm 60 mm 40 mm 304 g 210 n Sep 2014 699- i
Panasonic TZ200« » 111 mm 65 mm 45 mm 340 g 370 n Feb 2018 799 i i
Panasonic TZ90« » 112 mm 67 mm 41 mm 322 g 380 n Apr 2017 449 i i
Panasonic TZ100« » 111 mm 65 mm 44 mm 312 g 300 n Jan 2016 699- i
Panasonic FZ1000« » 137 mm 99 mm 131 mm 831 g 360 n Jun 2014 899- i
Panasonic LX7« » 111 mm 68 mm 46 mm 298 g 330 n Jul 2012 499- i
Sony RX100 V« » 102 mm 58 mm 41 mm 299 g 220 n Oct 2016 999 i i
Sony A6000« » 120 mm 67 mm 45 mm 344 g 360 n Feb 2014 599- i
Sony RX100 III« » 102 mm 58 mm 41 mm 290 g 320 n May 2014 799- i

The price is, of course, an important factor in any camera decision. The listed launch prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The LX15 was launched at a markedly lower price (by 30 percent) than the RX100 IV, which puts it into a different market segment. Usually, retail prices stay at first close to the launch price, but after several months, discounts become available. Later in the product cycle and, in particular, when the replacement model is about to appear, further discounting and stock clearance sales often push the camera price considerably down. Then, after the new model is out, very good deals can frequently be found on the pre-owned market.

 

Sensor comparison: Panasonic LX15 vs Sony RX100 IV

The size of the imaging sensor is a crucial determinant of image quality. All other things equal, a large sensor will have larger individual pixel-units that offer better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color depth than smaller pixels in a sensor of the same technological generation. Moreover, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more control over depth-of-field in the image and, thus, the ability to better isolate a subject from the background. On the downside, larger sensors tend to be associated with larger, more expensive camera bodies and lenses.

Both cameras under consideration feature an one-inch sensor and have a format factor (sometimes also referred to as "crop factor") of 2.7. Within the spectrum of camera sensors, this places the review cameras among the medium-sized sensor cameras that aim to strike a balance between image quality and portability. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.

Panasonic LX15 and Sony RX100 IV sensor measures

The two cameras under review do not only share the same sensor size, but also offer an identical resolution of 20 megapixel. This similarity in sensor specs implies that both the LX15 and the RX100 IV have the same pixel density, as well as the same pixel size. It should, however, be noted that the LX15 is a somewhat more recent model (by 1 year and 3 months) than the RX100 IV, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time.

LX15 versus RX100 IV MP

Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. This service determines an overall sensor rating, as well as sub-scores for low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and color depth ("DXO Portrait"). The table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar cameras.

Sensor Characteristics
  Camera Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
Panasonic LX15» 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p----
Sony RX100 IV« 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p22.812.659170
Canon G7 X Mark II« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p----
Canon M3« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/30p22.811.8116972
Canon G5 X« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p----
Canon G7 X« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p23.012.755671
Panasonic TZ200« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p----
Panasonic TZ90« » 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38884K/30p19.110.610636
Panasonic TZ100« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p22.812.555970
Panasonic FZ1000« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p22.111.751764
Panasonic LX7« » 1/1.7 10.0 3648 27361080/60p20.711.714750
Sony RX100 V« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p22.812.458670
Sony A6000« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.113.1134782
Sony RX100 III« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p22.412.349567

Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. Both cameras under consideration are equipped with sensors that have a sufficiently high read-out speed for moving images, and both provide the same movie specifications (4K/30p).

 

Feature comparison: Panasonic LX15 vs Sony RX100 IV

Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the RX100 IV has an electronic viewfinder (2359k dots), which can be very helpful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the LX15 relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. The table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Panasonic LX15 and Sony RX100 IV in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras. If needed, the dpreview camera hub, for example, contains further detail on the cameras' specs.

Core Features
  Camera Viewfinder
(Type or
'000 dots)
Control
Panel
(yes/no)
LCD
Size
(inch)
LCD
Resolution
('000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(yes/no)
Shutter
speed
(1/sec)
Shutter
flaps
(1/sec))
Build-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Build-in
Image
Stab
Panasonic LX15»- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 4000 10.0 Y Y
Sony RX100 IV«2359 n 3.0 1228 tilting n 2000 16.0 Y Y
Canon G7 X Mark II« »- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 2000 8.0 Y Y
Canon M3« »- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 4000 4.2 Y n
Canon G5 X« »2360 n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 2000 5.9 Y Y
Canon G7 X« »- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 2000 6.5 Y Y
Panasonic TZ200« »2330 n 3.0 1240 fixed Y 2000 10.0 Y Y
Panasonic TZ90« »1166 n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 2000 10.0 Y Y
Panasonic TZ100« »1166 n 3.0 1040 fixed Y 2000 10.0 Y Y
Panasonic FZ1000« »2359 n 3.0 921 swivel n 4000 12.0 Y Y
Panasonic LX7« »- n 3.0 920 fixed n 4000 11.0 Y Y
Sony RX100 V« »2359 n 3.0 1229 tilting n 2000 24.0 Y Y
Sony A6000« »1440 n 3.0 922 tilting n 4000 11.0 Y n
Sony RX100 III« »1440 n 3.0 1229 tilting n 2000 10.0 Y Y

Both the LX15 and the RX100 IV have zoom lenses build in. The LX15 has a 24-72mm f/1.4-2.8 optic and the RX100 IV offers a 24-70mm f/1.8-2.8 (focal lengths in full frame equivalent terms). Hence, the Panasonic and Sony provide the same view at the wide-angle end, but the Sony has less tele-photo reach at the long end. The LX15 offers the faster maximum aperture.

The LX15 is a current model that online retailers, such as amazon, will have in stock. In contrast, the RX100 IV has been discontinued (but it can be found pre-owned on eBay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the RX100 IV was succeeded by the Sony RX100 IV.

Review summary: Panasonic LX15 vs Sony RX100 IV

So what is the bottom line? Which of the two cameras – the Panasonic LX15 or the Sony RX100 IV – has the upper hand? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.

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Reasons to prefer the Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX15:

  • Fewer buttons to press: Is equipped with a touch-sensitive rear screen to facilitate handling.
  • Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (4000/sec vs 2000/sec) to freeze action.
  • Better light gathering: Has a lens with a wider maximum aperture (f/1.4 vs f/1.8).
  • More tele-reach: Has a longer tele-lens for perspective compression and subject magnification.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (30 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More modern: Is somewhat more recent (announced 1 year and 3 months after the RX100 IV).

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Advantages of the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 IV:

  • Easier framing: Has an electronic viewfinder for image framing and settings control.
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1228k vs 1040k dots).
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (16 vs 10 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in June 2015).

If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the LX15 emerges as the winner of the contest (6 : 4 points). However, the relative importance of the various individual camera aspects will vary according to personal preferences and needs, so that you might like to apply corresponding weights to the particular features before making a decision on a new camera.

LX15 06:04 RX100 IV

In any case, while the specs-based evaluation of cameras is instructive in revealing their potential as photographic tools, it remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the LX15 or the RX100 IV handle or perform in practice. At times, user reviews, such as those published at amazon, address these issues in a useful manner, but such feedback is on many occasions incomplete, inconsistent, and unreliable. This is why expert reviews are important. The adjacent table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, photographyblog). The detailed reviews can be accessed by clicking on the site logo in the table header.

Review scores
  Camera cameralabs dpreview ephotozine imaging-resource photographyblog Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Panasonic LX15»HiRec81/1004/54.5/54.5/5 Sep 2016 699 i i
Sony RX100 IV«HiRec85/1004/54.5/54.5/5 Jun 2015 999- i
Canon G7 X Mark II« »HiRec81/1004.5/54/54.5/5 Feb 2016 699 i i
Canon M3« »rev75/1004.5/54.5/54/5 Feb 2015 679- i
Canon G5 X« »HiRec78/1004.5/54/54.5/5 Oct 2015 799 i i
Canon G7 X« »HiRec77/1004.5/53.5/54.5/5 Sep 2014 699- i
Panasonic TZ200« »HiRec81/1004.5/5-4.5/5 Feb 2018 799 i i
Panasonic TZ90« »HiRec-4/5-4/5 Apr 2017 449 i i
Panasonic TZ100« »HiRec82/1004.5/54/54.5/5 Jan 2016 699- i
Panasonic FZ1000« »HiRec82/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jun 2014 899- i
Panasonic LX7« »HiRec75/1004/55/54.5/5 Jul 2012 499- i
Sony RX100 V« »HiRec83/1004/55/54.5/5 Oct 2016 999 i i
Sony A6000« »Rec80/1004.5/55/55/5 Feb 2014 599- i
Sony RX100 III« »HiRec82/1004.5/54.5/55/5 May 2014 799- i

The review scores listed above should be treated with care, though. The ratings were established in reference to similarly priced cameras that were available in the market at the time of the review. A score, therefore, has to be seen in close connection to the price and market introduction time of the camera, and rating-comparisons among cameras that span long time periods or concern very differently equipped models make little sense. It should also be noted that some of the review sites have over time altered the way they render their verdicts.

 

Other camera comparisons

Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? In case you would like to check on the differences and similarities of other camera models, just make your choice using the following search menu. There is also a set of direct links to comparison reviews that other users of the CAM-parator app explored. If the camera you are interested in is not available, please contact me, and I will try to update the database with the necessary infos.

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